In December 2012, four of Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts – Upper Republican, Middle Republican, Lower Republican and Twin Platte NRDs- purchased 19,500 acres in Lincoln County that straddle the Platte and Republican River Basins.  About 15,800 of those acres had been irrigated with 115 groundwater wells.  Ceasing irrigation of those acres will allow water that would have continued to be used for irrigation to be stored in the Ogallala Aquifer.  Then it will be piped from 30 groundwater wells into the Republican and Platte Rivers when needed to meet river flow obligations.  The total capacity of the project will be approximately 60,000 acre feet.  A significant portion of that water will not be needed on an annual basis and will be “banked” for use in years when needed for compliance with the Republican River Compact.  Over the mid and long-term the amount of water pumped under the project to help keep Nebraska in compliance with the compact and prevent massive irrigation shutdowns may be less than what was pumped by the hedge fund that operated the property as an irrigated farm.  There is abundant groundwater underlying N-CORPE – the saturated thickness of the Ogallala Aquifer in the area is approximately 400-600 feet.